A Genuine Monotheism for Christians, Muslims, Jews, and All

Journal of Ecumenical Studies 52:554-586 (2017)
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Today's conflicts between religions are grounded largely in historical injustices and grievances but partly in serious conceptual disagreements. This essay agrees with Miroslav Volf that a nontritheistic Christian account of the Trinity is highly desirable. Three traditional models of the Trinity are examined. In their pure, unmixed form, two of them should logically be acceptable to Jews, Muslims, and strict monotheists who regard Christianity as inherently tritheistic, despite lip service to one God. In the social model, three distinct self-aware subjects are unified by being in perfect harmony with each other. Despite Volf's best defense of this, to conceive of three gods, this is how one would go about it. In the psychological model, one divine subject has three psychological capacities—memory, understanding, and will. In the functional model, one subject relates to the world in three different ways—as creator, redeemer, and companion. These two are genuinely monotheistic. Finally, a monotheistic account of the unity of Jesus with God is proposed for consideration.
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